Bob Hope laid to rest (again) in memorial garden

Wise-cracking United States comedy legend Bob Hope has been buried one last time in a peaceful public garden dedicated to his memory two years after his death, family members said on Thursday.

The Bob Hope Memorial Garden opened to the public six days after the remains of America’s court jester made one last journey from a mausoleum to a grotto in the gardens in Mission Hills, a Los Angeles suburb.

The quick-witted Hope told his wife, Delores, “surprise me” when she asked him where he wanted to be buried, so she has, family and friends recounted on Thursday.

“Dad didn’t know at the time of his death where he was going to be,” said daughter Linda Hope. “We just knew we needed to create something special.”

The 96-year-old widow oversaw every aspect of construction at the garden, which includes Bob Hope roses and camellias, a tranquil fountain, striking statuary, and a memorial wall with photography.

Hope, a devout Catholic, was buried in a grotto in a tranquil corner of the garden in a private ceremony last Friday after being moved from a nearby cemetery.

The garden was dedicated on Wednesday at a ceremony attended by family and famous friends, including former child star Mickey Rooney, actor Red Buttons, Kathryn Crosby, widow of Hope collaborator Bing Crosby, and their daughter, actress Mary Crosby, actress Swoosie Kurtz and other show business personalities.

Hope might not have been a gardener, but “his love of the outdoors, nature and beauty always remained strong,” said Ward Grant, the comic’s longtime publicist.

Hope, one of the great icons of 20th century entertainment, died in Los Angeles on July 27, 2003, less than two months after celebrating his 100th birthday. - Sapa-AFP


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